By Sarah Atherton

MP for Wrexham

In the lead up to Armistice Day on the 11th November, and Remembrance Sunday, I was honoured to be out with my team across Wrexham selling poppies and supporting the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal, in its centenary year. As a veteran, Remembrance Day is particularly important to me. I am a passionate defender of our veterans and Armed Forces, and I will continue to champion them in Parliament and in Wrexham. As part of this year’s Remembrance events, I also had the pleasure of visiting Moneypenny, where the building was lit up red with Poppy’s on the front in support of our veterans. As well as being a huge benefit to our local economy – providing an ever-increasing number of jobs here in Wrexham – Moneypenny is also a champion for local charities, so thank you to Joanna Swash and the team for all that you do.

On Remembrance Sunday itself, I was pleased to be able to lay a Parliamentary wreath at the Royal Welch Fusiliers Memorial. The service, organised by Wrexham Council, was extremely well attended and it was particularly heart-warming to see so many young people and youth groups gathered. This keeps alive what it means to ‘Remember’, whilst giving thanks and acknowledging our veterans. This year, special recognition went to the relocated RAF Association memorial, with thanks to Councillor Phil Wynn for his work on this. I would also like to pay tribute to Kevin Forbes from the Royal British Legion for his work organising the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal across Wrexham.

Last week, I was also delighted to visit a new business to Wrexham, Vigilance. Vigilance are an award-winning company providing a range of security services and support, employing mostly veterans. Having met their team over a year ago in London, I was thrilled to view their new premises in Wrexham. Indeed, I am excited that they have chosen Wrexham as the place to open a new base, which represents a vote of confidence in Wrexham, our local economy and all that our town has to offer.

It is for this reason that I will also continue to campaign to make sure that veterans in Wales receive the same access to services as those just over the border in England. In the most recent Spending Review, the Chancellor announced that the UK Government will fund a Veterans Commissioner for Wales. To date, Wales is the only country in the UK that hasn’t appointed one. As such, after two years of lobbying, I am thrilled that the UK Government are providing this on behalf of the Welsh Government.

Finally, during Defence Questions in the House of Commons last week, I also celebrated the regeneration of Hightown Barracks and I asked the Secretary of State for Defence, Ben Wallace MP, to visit. Once doomed for closure and conversion into housing, Hightown Barracks has recently gone through a renaissance. It now houses a Defence Mental Health Clinic, a reserve field hospital detachment, cadets, preparation college, support for a logistical unit and aspiring an anti-tank company. The Barracks’ continued importance in Wrexham illustrates the integral place our Armed Forces continue to play in our community.

As always if you are resident in Wrexham and need my assistance with any local or national issue, please make contact with me by emailing